Tuesday 30 March, Nagyerdei Stadion, Debrecen, 7.45pm  


Live coverage on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player from 7pm


Live coverage on RTÉ Radio 1 Extra


Live blog on RTÉ.ie and the RTÉ News app from 7pm


A dry evening looks to be in store with no chance of rain come kick-off time. There will be temperatures of 9C, although it will be quite humid in Hungary. 

Alan Browne may be rotated after featuring in both games 

Why Qatar and in Hungary?

Before we get to the sad reality facing Ireland, why is this game taking place?

Qatar were permitted as a guest team in the European qualifiers to allow them some good preparation matches ahead of the World Cup.

They are the host nation and have an automatic place at the tournament.

They were assigned to Ireland's Group A of qualifying. All the matches are classed as friendlies so they do not count towards the points tally. 

That is a pity because so far they have beaten Azerbaijan and Luxembourg in the two games. It would have been a chance to make up some lost ground for Ireland. 

Qatar are basing themselves in Europe for these games to reduce travelling time for the opposition. Debrecen in Hungary is the designated venue for this one. 

The only way is up?

Normally, the result would not be crucial. However in these circumstances, the Irish public need a little convincing. There is an argument, albeit a small one, that this is a good game to play on the back on Saturday's humiliation.

Away from the spotlight of World Cup qualifiers, Stephen Kenny's side can try to muster a performance to at least save some face ahead of the resumption of the group games. 

As mentioned, this is no easy task and apart from the early days of Gibraltar football, such straight-forward games have not existed for Ireland for some times.

Qatar are delivering some results, but it should be noted that Azerbaijan and Luxembourg rotated their teams with qualifiers ahead in the window. Ironically enough, Luxembourg game opportunities to players who were not playing at club level. Ireland do not have such a luxury. 

Stephen Kenny said the result on Saturday was not good enough

Kenny may opt to give some other players a chance in the knowledge that three games in less than a week is too much for a squad which plays little first-team football. 

That has been the story of his tenure so far. Changes have been a plenty, even in formation, and the misfortune which has followed the former Dundalk manager around has been incredible.

Thoughts are turning to the past catching up with Ireland, the kind of self-evaluation that nobody ever wants to face. 

Spending millions on international managers, while not prioritising player development, was a sure-fire short-term solution.

Ignoring the domestic league wasn't a great policy for success in a sport which has evolved through investment while Ireland stood still.

Under-funded academies, failing to see the change in English football where Ireland became less of a priority, lack of infrastructure and facility building and focusing on individuals rather than the bigger picture, can all be added to it. 

Last Saturday's result was undoubtedly a low-point, but much like a boxer getting repeatedly punched until falling to the canvas, the inevitability of it coming was clear to see.

We've fallen from the great heights of 1-0 and 2-0 wins over the previously mentioned Gibraltar last campaign and can no longer cling to a famous 1-1 draw against similarly-ranked sides. Now with the loss of senior players, and beset by absentees, somehow we are falling on harder times. 

A philosophy of spinning plates to survive has seen them eventually crash to the the floor and Stephen Kenny will step on a lot of broken delph. 

Whether he is the man to put it back together is up for debate. This is a game for Kenny to seek a response or see his credibility weakened further. 

What can we try?

One would miss the days where we could point to a player who could potentially change things. Pining for an Andy Reid and Wes Hoolahan is no longer an option when staring failure in the face. That said, trying is exactly what Kenny has been doing in the games.

The high point of the Kenny era so far, and it doesn't reflect well that it was a defeat, was the performance in Slovakia in the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final.

Gavin Bazunu and Dara O'Shea offer some hope, but they are experiencing pain early in their international careers

The team which lined out that night had eight changes from the one which lost to Luxembourg, and of the three remaining players, Enda Stevens, Matt Doherty and Callum Robinson, only Stevens has kept his real position in the formation. Stevens and Doherty will miss the game on Tuesday.

Everyone is getting their chance. Some of it has been forced on Kenny. Dara O'Shea is certainly going to be a regular in Irish squads for the next decade. 

The position of goalkeeper will be the new right-back when Gavin Bazunu and Caoimhin Kelleher fight it out in years to come. At least there will be no debate if both can play. 

With the Liverpool goalkeeper missing this window, Bazunu has won the first battle and is likely to keep his place here ahead of Mark Travers and Kieran O'Hara. The signs are very good for the former Shamrock Rovers stopper. 

Troy Parrott could get more game time and Molumby may also resume his role from the Serbia game. Conor Coventry might see some action for the first time. 

The three at the back system failed on Saturday, although it may be suited better to an 'away' game as we saw in Serbia. It remains to seen if Kenny will alter it here. 

As Shane Long, James McClean and Robbie Brady came on last weekend, one wondered should they receive one last spin for this campaign. 

With Ireland's outlook, youth may be the best policy.  

Who are the danger men? 

Hassan Al-Haydos scored twice for Qatar in the 2-1 success over Azerbaijan on Saturday to take his tally to 30 goals in 137 caps. 

Almoez Ali has played in Spain and Austria and has a one in two record at international level. Mohammed Muntari, originally from Ghana, can also pop up with a goal. 

All this talk of goalscorers could make us envious. 

Off-the-pitch, the likes of Norway and Germany have protested against Qatar's human rights record as a nation. 

When asked by RTÉ Sport if the FAI was aware of any plan by their players to protest, or whether they would try to prevent one from happening, an FAI spokesperson emphasised the association's non-political approach but said they would continue to debate 'societal issues' at board level.

"The Football Association of Ireland is aware of the debate around the issue of migrant workers in Qatar in the context of the staging of the FIFA 2022 World Cup Finals Tournament," they said. 

"As a National Governing Body, the FAI focuses on our sporting role and is non-political in our approach but of course we will always be aware of, and sensitive to, broader societal issues and we will continue to debate these issues at Board level and with our players at the appropriate time."

At Monday's pre-match press conference, Kenny insisted "you can't sweep that under the carpet" when asked about the human rights issues.

What can be gained? 

Ciaran Clark is likely to be needed

A win. Morale. Knowledge that the three at the back system works away from home.

Organisation and attitude will be the qualities the FAI board will be looking for on Tuesday night. If a response isn't forthcoming from the Irish players, it could tell a different story. 

Most of all Kenny needs some restore some credibility, especially in a landscape where many doubt if he is good enough for the job after Saturday's loss. 

Once again his hand is weakened, that is something Ireland have come accustomed to. 

Kenny will not change the approach which has got him this far in 25 years of management. He needs a helping hand from his players on Tuesday evening. 

Watch Qatar v Republic of Ireland on Tuesday from 7pm on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player. Live radio commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 Extra and live blog on RTÉ.ie and the RTÉ News app